An Impossible Story, The End

July 24, 2014 5 Comments



In the end, the steroids in my spine took action, giving me a new lease on life and the spinal agility of a girl of 25 again.

Our move went off without a hitch. By the end of moving day, no one was bleeding or injured (further) and all our things had been tucked away into our new place. My favorite Le Labo candle was filling the living room with notes of pastis and summer in Marseille. Life was good.

My fiancé was deep asleep, precariously teetering between a chair and an ottoman since we still had no couch. I was pleased with myself for somehow concocting the ultimate test of a man’s patience as the final gauntlet before the alter. And even more pleased that he’d passed the test with such gentlemanly flying colors.

You see, on top of everything, I had just made him hang all of my new Roberta Roller Rabbit curtains in the new apartment. Without a ladder.

Not only did we not have a ladder, but the ceilings in the new place are about 12 feet high. Meaning that he had to balance on the top rung of a step stool which itself was balanced on top of a chair while using a power drill, a level and a multitude of very-easily-lost parts all in the name of Roberta’s laser cut lace. He had obliged with the greatest of valor, reminding me that I was marrying him partly for his spider-monkey-like climbing skills.

Seeing him passed out - possibly in a coma - in the fading light filtering through said laser-cut lace was a sight that warmed my heart and reminded me that the human condition, especially the condition of this particular human is resilient beyond belief. How lucky I was to get to spend the rest of my life with someone who would endure this ordeal with me with such grace.

The next day brought a confusing cocktail of emotions as I raced through the final to-do’s on my list before leaving New York, knowing I’d return a married woman. The day was also colored by an even more confusing (and mis-mixed) cocktail of pills prescribed for my back injury. Don’t ever take a muscle relaxer before brunch on a stomach full of only bridal butterflies and feelings of apartment-move displacement. At one point I was wondering through soho, in a daze wondering what would happen if I took a nap on the steps of the Barbour store. It was a strange day.

I headed off to Washington, ready to watch a year’s worth of planning unfold into my wedding and most certainly ready to NOT talk about bedbugs or epidural injections. Because there is little else more unbecoming than a bride discussing parasites.

And what did I do?

Yes, you guessed it. I stood up in front of our friends and family at the rehearsal dinner and went ahead and told everyone about it as my toast to my groom.

Whoops. I guess a different bride might have kept that to herself. She probably also wouldn't have blogged about this impossible story either.

I am impossible, what can I say.

The wedding was incredible. I could write ten thousand blog posts about every moment of the day. I suppose in that regard at least, I am like every other bride. My memories from that day are polished to a shine from replaying over and over.

We’re back in New York now, married, pest free, pain free (are we? how do you ever really know? bed bugs and spinal injuries are always waiting for you to let your guard down) and most importantly, we have a couch.

The Charlotte arrived last week. And even though we had to take the door off our apartment to get her in, she made it safe and sound. I'm not kidding. We literally removed our front door. Who knew doors came off?! We also had to temporarily remove Charlotte's lovely little legs too. Which horrified me, as a new sofa-mom, to see my sweet baby being dismembered moments after delivery.

I should mention that this act of dismemberment - both Charlotte and our apartment door were performed by a team of men called "the couch doctors" and for this service, they charged me a cool $350, which they required in cash. And which I stupidly agreed to pay without inquiring why the act of unscrewing sofa legs cost so dearly. Oh well. It was my final act of hemorrhaging money in connection with impossible situation. In retrospect, I could have probably dismembered my sofa myself without giving away hundred dollar bills for several minutes work... that actually took quite a while because said couch doctors had to refresh their instagram feeds regularly during the process. I suppose couch doctoring, much like being an illustrator, requires a well honed awareness of social media goings-on.

Since then, life has returned to a rhythm of normalcy. We’ve had several lengthy conversations about all the exciting ways a person - or two or three or FOUR people could sit together on a sofa. I knew I was excited for Charlotte’s arrival, but had no idea what a novelty sitting on a sofa would be after our ordeal.

And now I have an excuse to go on a highly-over-complicated search for the perfect pillows.

Scalamandre zebras? Brunchwig & Fils abstracted animal spots? Something graphic and modern like Kellly Wearstler? You simply cannot devote too much time to this decision when you’re a housewife with no weddings to plan, no infestations to wage war upon, no new apartments to move into, no plans to be impossible anymore.

It’s true, I think I’ve hung up my impossible hat if my biggest problem right now is how to decide on a pillow-scape for Charlotte.

And so, with this even-keeled outlook, I must bring my story to a close.

As I walked home the other night, headed from my studio to my new Nolitan apartment to greet my fiancé-turned-husband and to sit on our sofa, I was struck by how beautiful life was in this place. The air around me was magic. It was July and there is a still a hint of lavender cooless in the evening. Two gazelles in giant silver earrings and lace dresses floated across the bowery.

They were a vision of summer nymphs in high heels with untamed curls bouncing on the cool night air. They seemed to match, or almost match, making the scene that much more bewitching. Their long strides and high heels were so striking set against the graffiti covered derelict buildings and kitchen supply stores behind them.

I thought how much fun it would be to illustrate them and smiled to myself realizing the significance of this sighting. All the turmoil of the past few months fell away, all the details and hiccups along the way felt irrelevant finally. I felt so lucky to feel inspired by this place.

I knew finally that the impossible story was really over with that moment of inspiration. One of the tell-tale signs of impossible-ness is a feeling, a belief, that you are trapped at the center of your own melodrama, blinded by self-pitty. Being impossible makes it very hard to feel inspired and very easy to feel consumed with anger. Beauty slips past you unnoticed.

It is not until you’ve taken a step back, regained balance, and a sofa to call your own, that you can realize that the universe is actually not such a bad place. And certainly not a place in which you are at the epicenter of dramatic disaster.

It is a place where mysterious, beautiful people saunter in tandem across the Bowery, into the lavender coolness with stories all their own.

Posted in Inslee, Inslee By Design, the impossible story, The Sketch Book



5 Responses

July 25, 2014

So sad that the impossible story has come to an end, but so happy it is a beautiful end! Cannot wait to see how you style up your gorgeous sofa (pillows are definitely the trickiest, so many fabulous options)! Xxjana


July 25, 2014

Love the leggy gazelles with their silver earrings and the happy ending to the story! And the reminder to never let beauty slip past us unnoticed.

Mariana Hodges
Mariana Hodges

July 25, 2014

Oh gosh what a story! Just read the last three chapters and boy you just made my day. I’m glad everything worked out and may this apartment be forever bug-free!


July 25, 2014

And it all worked out. Phew. What a ride!

Kelly Hicks
Kelly Hicks

July 25, 2014

I’m obsessed with this impossible story! I want more impossible stories and sketches! Also can I please see a home tour?? I need to see those curtains and say hello to Charlotte :)

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